at UBC's

Vancouver Campus

Geology is the study of planet Earth, its origin and evolution, its fundamental structure, the properties of minerals, rocks, and fluids of which it is composed, and the evolution of its biosphere. Studying geology at UBC's Vancouver campus is an opportunity to live and work in a beautiful natural geological laboratory, literally at your doorstep.

Why this program?

  • UBC has strong connections with many of the 1,200 mineral exploration companies based in BC.
  • Technical electives enable you to gain designation with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC.
  • UBC is one of the world’s top-ranked universities in environmental sciences.
  • Live, study, and work with British Columbia’s geological laboratory at your doorstep.
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Program information

  • Campus: Vancouver
  • Faculty: Faculty of Science
  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Length 4 yrs
  • Co-op Yes
    You can combine your studies with full-time, paid work at top local and international organizations.
  • Honours Yes
    You can study intense specialization in a single field.

Geology involves integrating many aspects of the physical and natural sciences to unravel the history and dynamics of our planet throughout geological time. Geologists are explorers and work outdoors in the remarkable natural laboratory that are planet presents.

Experiential learning and field work are key components to your geology education at UBC. The Faculty of Science offers a Major in Geology and a Geological Sciences Honours specialization. Both are designed to provide the courses required for professional accreditation and both allow for the pursuit of careers in the private sector, government, and post-graduate education. The honours specialization includes the opportunity to conduct independent research in your final year supervised by a faculty member; research projects of variable length are also available through directed studies for major students.

Campus features

UBC’s Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences is one of the largest and most diverse departments of its kind in the world. Housed in a spectacular new building at the heart of the UBC academic campus, it operates many major geological research facilities, including the Pacific Centre for Isotopic & Geochemical Research and the Mineral Deposit Research Unit, and is also home the Pacific Museum of the Earth, which is open to the public.

Life at UBC's Vancouver campus

Built in 2012 to LEED Gold construction standards, the Earth Sciences building is home to the Department of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. It houses the department’s cluster computers for numerical weather and climate simulations, weather-instrument platform for research and teaching, modern labs for oceanographic research, wet labs, and two computer lab classrooms for undergraduate student use.

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Your future

Geologists are valued and highly skilled professionals with extensive geoscience knowledge, strong logistical and operational skills in the field and laboratory, and the ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams with the latest in modern technology and information. Geologists play a key role in society for their expertise in the changing Earth over geological time, natural resource and hazard assessment, science policy, and environmental issues. With a UBC education in Geology, you will be highly placed for the increasingly diverse array of jobs available for geoscience graduates.

Program graduates

  • Graduate geologist in-training, Shell Canada Ltd.
  • Geological field assistant, Yukon Geological Survey
  • Project geologist, C.J. Greig & Associates
  • Geologist, Equity Exploration Consultants Ltd.
  • Environmental geoscientist, Lorax Environmental Services Ltd.
  • PhD candidate in Volcanology, Nanyang Technological University

Program requirements

English-language requirements

English is the language of instruction at UBC. All prospective students must demonstrate English-language competency prior to admission. There are numerous ways to meet the English Language Admission Standard.

General admission requirements

IB Diploma Programme

  • Completed IB Diploma, including at least three Higher Level courses.

IB Certificate Courses

  • IB Certificate courses (Standard and Higher Level) may be used in an admissions average if you are graduating from a recognized high school curriculum that can be used as your basis of admission.
  • IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, do not satisfy the math requirement for admission to UBC’s science-based programs, the Faculty of Management, the UBC Sauder School of Business, or the Vancouver School of Economics.

Degree-specific requirements: Science

  • IB Math Analysis and Approaches SL or HL, or IB Math Applications and Interpretations HL (IB Math Applications and Interpretations SL, or IB Math Studies, are not acceptable)
  • One of IB Biology, IB Chemistry, or IB Physics
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Chemistry, and
  • Grade 11 or equivalent Physics (may be waived with grades of 5 in IB Chemistry and in your IB Mathematics course)

Note: Grade 11 Chemistry and Physics requirements listed are only relevant to students who are not completing the equivalent IB Diploma Chemistry and/or Physics courses.

For students studying outside of Canada, some examples of courses that may be accepted as Grade 11 equivalents are junior-level courses for American students, and IGCSE and O Level for those following British-patterned curricula.

Related courses

The following subject categories are particularly relevant for this degree. Consider taking courses in these areas in your junior year and senior year.

  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics and Computation
  • Sciences
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